My Dad Is Dead • Let's Skip The Details (Homestead 1988)
MDID is the creative outlet for Mark Edwards. Based out of Cleveland, OH, the group is essentially a one man band with Edwards providing almost all of the instrumentation.
Falling in line with other 80s indie noise makers like Big Black and Bastro, MDID packs a wallop. I recently described this record as "bitter, yet delish." The songs are of anguish, regret, betrayal, and desperation. Yet, Edwards straight forward delivery and understated arrangements are rough hewn pop.
I first learned of this band when Tsunami covered the song "Waters Edge" on their debut LP. I remember asking them about the song and commenting how great it was. They said check out this LP. I tracked one down and it was amazing. There are so many great songs on here: "Baby's Got A Problem," "Lay Down The Law," "Bad Judgement Day," and of course the aforementioned "Waters Edge." Each one a churning ode to regret and anguish. It's not emo, it's Midwestern noise rock.
Turing Machine • A New Machine For Living (Jade Tree 2000)
In the 90's, I was a big fan of the band Pitchblende. They played angular, off-kilter post hardcore/indie rock. Known for complex song structure and often compared to a jazz band, they were a cerebral group, but were still able to be visceral. After the demise of that band, guitarist Justin Chearno and bassist Scott DeSimon started the post-rock, neo-krautrock band Turing Machine. I got into this band around the time of their second record, Zwei, in the mid-2000s.
When I started hanging around with @bastin and @jasonnorfleet, they loved this band too. Yet, they were fans because of their drummer Jerry Fuchs. I had loved his playing on the Turing Machine records, but didn't know much about him. They informed me and by turn, got me into Jerry's other band Maserati. Sadly, Jerry's life was cut short in a freak accident and this band ceased to be.
This is their debut record recorded in the Fall of '99. Some similarities to Pitchblende exist here, but the beats are more Motorik, the songs longer, more linear in structure. I return to this record over and over. The music, the design, everything about this speaks to me. Turing Machine were only able to put out 3 records, the last being assembled after Fuchs death. All three are excellent.
Minutemen • Georgeless EP (Forced Exposure 1993)
THE STORY OF THE FIRST MINUTEMEN DRUMMER: The Reactionaries formed in Dec. '78 with D. Boon on guitar, Mike Watt on bass, George Hurley on drums, and Martin Tamburovich on singing. They broke up in June 79. Boon and Watt started Minutemen themselves in Jan. '80. George Hurley had already joined new wave band Hey Taxi!; so, they asked welder and fellow homeboy Frank Tonche (TAWN-CHEE, just out of the Polish Eagle polka band) to play drums. In April-May '80 the Minutemen played their first two gigs. Greg Ginn saw them and asked them to record for SST Records. Frank Tonche became afraid of punk rock after the second gig and quit the band with only a month to go before recording. Luckily, George quit Hey Taxi! and rejoined Boon & Watt. … The songs on this record (except for "Joe Mccarthy's Ghost") were never released in any version until here. Hurley never learned them so only these Frank Tonche versions exist.
These were recorded live to "Econo Cassette Machine" in March '80 at Frank Tonche's House,San Pedro, CA. They were transferred to Reel to Reel by Ethan James in Oct. 91 and released two years later by Forced Exposure. Most of the text above was lifted verbatim off the back of the sleeve. Also included is an insert with an unrelated short story by Minutemen friend and would be collaborator Richard Meltzer.
As an avid Minutemen fan, I was eager to get this when it came out. It is more valuable for it's historical context than the recording itself. The recording is rough, but the talent is clearly audible. The songs were good, but Hurley's drumming made it great.